Safari Tour: Ooko, Ngige lead after Round One
The third leg of the 2019/2020 Safari Tour Golf Series teed-off yesterday at the Royal Nairobi Golf Club with homeboy, Erick Ooko and Thika Golf Club’s, Simon Ngige, topping the leaderboard after 18 holes.
They both played an impressive round of 69 to jointly establish a one-shot lead ahead of Sigona’s Golf Club’s Mohit Mediratta who finished the round in second place with a 2-under par 70 score.
On the first nine, Ooko carded a remarkable total of 32 courtesy of birdies on the par-4, third, par-4, fourth, par-4, fifth and the par-5, seventh; having made par on the rest of the holes. It’s on the back nine where he struggled, dropping shots at the par-4, 11th, par-3, 13th and the par-5, 14th but holed birdies at the par-5, 15th and the par-4, 18th for a back nine total of 37.
On his part, Ngige got off to a bogey at the par-4, first before following it up with a birdie at the par-5, second. He holed a birdie at the par-5, seventh for a back nine total of 35; having held par on the rest of the holes. On the back nine, he played bogey-free, holing a lone birdie at the par-3, 17th for a total of 34.
At the same time, Mohit Mediratta played a commendable round of 70 to end the day third on the leaderboard and in top contention for the top stop with 54 holes left to play. He played a bogey-free first nine round and holed a lone birdie at the par-4, third, for a total of 35. On the back nine, he dropped a shot at the par-3, 13th but birdies at the par-5, 14th and the par-5, 15th were enough to see him card a back nine total of 35.
The three are among six players who played level-par and better today; posting one of the best scores of a round one outing at a Safari Tour Golf Series event. David Wakhu, Geoffrey Kubwa and Edwin Asuza all posted level-par 72 scores to complete the list of six.
Shileen Nanji and Moses Symon were however eliminated after the round after they breached the “86 Rule” which states that “any player any player shooting 86 or higher during the first round will be cut from the field.”
Action resumes tomorrow on round two of the leg at 11:00am.
Meanwhile, Great Rift Valley Lodge and Golf Resort’s pro golfer, Justus Madoya, led his team of Royal Nairobi Golf Club’s Maurice Monni, Abner Onsomu and Joshua Ichangi to victory at the Pro-Am event of the Royal Nairobi leg of the Safari Tour golf series that was held yesterday. Madoya carded a total score of 34 to combine with the best combined amateur score for his team of 52 for a total of 86.
Madoya’s team effort was enough to fend off the team of pro golfer, Kennedy Abuto, which finished second after Abuto carded a total of 37 to combine with the best combined amateur score for his team of 45 for a total of 82.
Royal Nairobi Golf Club’s resident pro, Kenneth Bollo, led his team to clinch third place after he carded a total of 36 to combine with the best combined amateur score of 44 for a total of 80. For their efforts, Madoya, Abuto and Bollo took home KShs 30,000, KShs 20,000 and KShs 10,000 respectively.
In the subsequent members event, Royal Nairobi Golf Club’s handicap 14, Maurice Monni, emerged overall winner ahead of Samwel Nyaoke who came in second with 43 points; as Geoffrey Korir, also from Royal, finished third overall with 40 points.
Safari Tour Calendar 2019/20
Event 1 Nyali Golf and Country Club 24th – 28th August 2019 (DONE)
Event 2 Uganda Open (Lake Victoria Serena) 10th – 14th September 2019 (DONE)
Event 3 Royal Nairobi Golf Club 12th – 16th October 2019
Event 4 Entebbe Open (Entebbe Golf Club) 30th Oct – 2nd Nov 2019
Event 5 Great Rift Valley Golf Club 23rd – 27th November 2019
Event 6 Muthaiga Golf Club 14th – 18th December 2019
Event 7 Thika Greens 4th – 8th January 2020
Event 8 Sigona Golf Club 25th – 29th January 2020
Event 9 Kitante Open (Uganda Golf Club) 12th – 15th February 2020
Event 10 Karen Country Club 22nd -26th February 2020
Event 11 Tanzania Open (Kiligolf) TBC
2020 Magical Kenya Open, Karen Country Club, 12th – 15th March 2020.